Social Media is not a passing fad. It has changed the way we communicate. It is the new way of connecting – and not just in our personal lives. Most big brands in South Africa are active on social media. And more small businesses are waking up to the potential of this medium.
Why does your business need social media?
Are you sitting on the sidelines, wondering whether you should join in on social media? If you still need convincing, here are 6 benefits of social media:
1.Social media raises Brand recognition and awareness
Social media is an excellent way of raising awareness of your Brand. It is a channel for your voice, a way to introduce yourself.
2.Social media improves Brand loyalty
Social media enables you to connect with customers and potential customers in a very personal way. This personal connection is what builds loyalty to your Brand.
3.Social media creates opportunities to convert customers
Each time you share something on social media, you create an opportunity for a potential customer to react. This reaction creates an opportunity for engagement. Engagement creates the opportunity for conversion.
4.Social media increases your conversion rate
People like to do business with people. Your Brand becomes personal through social media, and that increases your conversion rate. Direct sales are even possible from your social media pages.
5.You can increase your reach with social media
If you have great content, people already familiar with your Brand will share it. In this way you reach new potential customers.
6.Social media can be inexpensive
Start small. Find your way around. Learn the nuances of social media. Spending as little as an hour a day on social media can generate benefit. If you don’t have the time, let us help you. We have very effective Social Media Maintenance options. Contact Us to Find out more.
And how can you use it?
The potential for social media is clear. Handle it with some delicacy and finesse, and the rewards can be yours. Here are some ways to do that:
1.Content counts, not just self-promotion
For every promotion you post, you should post 6 others that are interesting or useful for your reader. The online community will quickly lose interest in you if you simply use social media for free advertising. People are looking for interesting information: industry tips, insider insights, original ideas. Share your expertise and boost your Brand.
Identify individuals that are influencers in your market, and build relationships with them. In time they may begin to recognise you as an authority figure and share your content. Find customers that are passionate about your product and ask them to blog for you. They will become your Brand ambassadors.
3.Enrich the experience of your customer
People take to social media to compliment and to complain. Make sure that you are receptive, and you are responsive. Quickly move complaints off the public platform into private communication and resolve them. Thank those that compliment you publically. Enhance the satisfaction of the customer and you will build loyalty.
4.Make sure you do respond
When a reader takes the time to reach out to you, make sure you answer them. Every time. Every one. If you do not interact with your community, you will destroy your community. And keep it personal. Automated messages will not do. It’s also not just about you. Make sure you spend some time sharing the content of others.
5.Cultivate a strong and loyal community
Many actions already listed will help you build community. Another way is to create an online forum on your site where customers can reach out to each other. They can answer each other’s questions, share tips, chat.
6.Reward customer loyalty
Now that you have created a loyal community, reward them. You can run promotions exclusively for online users. Have a promotion code or a special password for their use. Run competitions with even an inexpensive prize- people love things for free. Give your online followers the edge with sneak peeks of upcoming products and events.
7.Quality trumps quantity
Don’t get sucked into chasing numbers of likes. The quality of your community is more important than the quantity. A thousand engaged users are far more valuable than ten thousand indifferent followers.
8.And NEVER criticise others online
It is never good to criticise others on social media. Don’t compare yourself to competitors. Don’t name call. You can damage your reputation. At worst you can find yourself on the receiving end of a civil claim.
Social media need not be intimidating. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the different platforms. Each platform has a slightly different user and community. Learn the nuances of each. Identify which platforms are the best fits for your Brand. You cannot be all things to all people.
Now is the time to have a social media strategy. Your competition already has one! Get in Touch to find out more.